A/N: I'm surprised you're still here. Thank you for that.
She wasn't supposed to harp on it, or gradually grow annoyed, but it wasn't out of anger. The fact it wasn't out of anger frustrated her to say the least, since there were other small voices in her head that spoke out of turn, when she most wanted them to crawl away.
Why would Michael – after his long speech about honesty - after forgiving her for mucking up so absolutely - end up lying himself? He wasn't supposed to be a bad bloke – he was the nice man – the one she was about to marry, and in a few months – the man she was going to spend the rest of her life with. It was an unusual concept really. She'd found somebody who made her happy, or well, she liked to suppose he did, since she didn't know she could be any happier than what she already was.
Molly stared at the back of his head, trying to keep herself occupied with the muted down telly, and the gossip magazine in her hands, until she tossed the magazine aside and ignored the telly, "Michael," she said tentatively, causing him to turn around from his position on the floor, as he was playing with Toby.
"Yeah?" he said with his earnest-looking face.
He didn't seem to be able to tell lies, but she had always prided herself in being very truthful too.
"Err -," she frowned sitting more upright in the sofa, until she said, "Mary told me you lied about Sherlock signing the papers?"
Michael's smile faded quickly at that and his eyes were cast downwards, as he said with a rather solemn tone, "I should have known."
"That it would come out eventually, I suppose – I just hoped we wouldn't need to talk about it."
Michael looked up at that seating himself besides her on the sofa. She drew her feet away, and he kept a certain distance between him and her. It wasn't the sort of behaviour she was used to from him, so she waited anxiously, as he gave a long sigh, "Isn't it obvious?"
Not to me, "No," she said puzzled.
He grinned running his fingers through his ginger locks, "Really? OK, so, I thought long and hard about everything you told about him – about how much you'd helped him, and what he then did – out of boredom, you say," he said stopping up, as if he was struggling to find the words.
"Right?" she said hoping he'd go on.
"It's obvious really, quite obvious – no man does that even if he's bored – especially after making all that stupidity go on for ages – nobody does that because they can't find anything else going on – it's obvious that he's in love with you…"
Her brows were raised, all hairs rising on her skin, as she felt herself unsettled at the sheer idea – it was besides itself idiotic, absolutely untrue, and somehow hysterical to think of. She started to giggle rather furiously.
Michael stared at her aghast, as she quickly tried to reassure him, "No – no – no – no – he's not – Sherlock's not – he's not – never -," she blurted out, before finishing lamely with, "You believe that?"
She was grimacing at this point.
"He has to be!" admonished Michael, as she stared at him in disbelief.
"Honestly he isn't – he's never ever shown the least bit of interest-," she said with a soft smile.
"How can he not be?" he said sounding almost angry, as he gestured towards her.
For a second she stared, until she took to hug him around his waist, and leaned to rest her head on his shoulder. He relaxed under her touch, as she calmly said, "Definitively not, and even so – I – wouldn't be interested even if he were. I'm engaged to you, after all."
"You married him though."
"We weren't supposed to – I only wanted to help him. I've always helped him on his cases – I just did a bit more than usual." That was putting it mildly.
"Oh," said Michael rather shamefacedly chuckling, as he tried to avert her gaze, "You're sure?"
"Yes - very."
His arms grabbed her to him, and she thought it was perhaps time to tell him what she'd gone and done now. Not exactly the most soothing news, perhaps, "So," she said, "Mary and I - are really struggling with the whole wedding planning thing-,"
"I know - I'm sorry – works been murder really with that stupid new client who never really makes up his mind about his own security system. He keeps wanting us to make it even more secure, as he's apparently worried his brother will get in."
Molly gave to laugh, as Michael stood up all of a sudden from the sofa, and out of her grasp, "His brother must be clever," she said glad that the conversation was something entirely different, though it didn't change the fact that it needed to be said.
"He has to be I suppose, but it shouldn't be that tricky keeping some bloke out – anyway – a cup of tea?"
"Yes, please, but – I just want to add-,"
Michael's phone suddenly went off. He groaned as he slipped it out of his trouser pocket, and jammed it against his ear, "Hello – yes – right-," he said mouthing "Sorry," to her, before rolling his eyes over his overbearing client.
"Maybe later," Molly mumbled to herself, as she knew it maybe wasn't the best time to mention that Sherlock was invited to the wedding – and for that matter still her maid of honour.
"-Apparently he was convinced Sherlock did that because he fancies me," said Molly grinning; however when those words escaped her mouth Mary spilled most of her cappuccino down her shirtfront.
"Bollocks," Mary snapped, as Molly silently handed her some napkins.
Her friend quietly looked on as she tried to dry up her white blouse, but with a shrug Mary said, "Well, right – can't get any better than that – but ok - so – that's weird."
Molly pursed her lips, "Mary – what's wrong?"
"Nothings wrong obviously – I just ruined my blouse, and I am going to meet John later on-," she said hurriedly trying to distract her friend, almost feeling like one of her own students with a poor excuse.
It was obvious by the way Molly was eyeing her that nothing she was going to say would convince her of otherwise, and her silence was certainly not making the issue any more unclear, as Molly said, "Honestly - do you also believe he fancies me?"
"No," said Mary with such wide eyes that even she felt herself snort in mistrust.
"You're usually such a good liar," Molly said rather seriously.
"It's a bit of an off day really," said Mary with a wry grin, though that didn't change Molly's expression, "OK - so I might have been living under the impression that Sherlock possibly fancies you. Of course that's my take on it. It doesn't mean it is in fact true-," most likely is bloody true considering what John told me.
"Ok," said Molly with a slight nod – her brown eyes gazing out into the distance. Mary found herself almost looking to where she was staring.
What did Molly actually feel?
She remembered knowing every single excruciating detail about the man, but those details got fewer and fewer over the years.
"What?" said Mary cautiously, only to find her friend repeat the same word, "What?" only startled, as if she'd interrupted her mid-sentence.
"There's obviously something goin-," she had started.
"He was acting odd," Molly blurted out interrupting her.
"Michael?" she said trying to pretend that was whom she was interested in hearing of.
"Oh? When was that? When I was with you on the phone?" she said trying not to seem interested, when she'd practically keeled over with concern the minute Molly had disconnected - only to have John texting Sherlock for details, which were of course dutifully ignored by the man.
"Yeah, he's coming round again – doing cases with Lestrade, and obviously John-,"
"OK, and what kind of strange was he? Since he's sort of that already."
"He was a bit – flustered, really," her friend said with a look of dawning on her features that almost turned anguished. She didn't know what Molly was thinking, but those few glimpses on her face quickly altered themselves.
"It doesn't need to mean anything at all. Could have been something else he was thinking about, you know?" Mary said hoping that it would be some help.
Molly didn't look softened by that particular idea, "I'm so used to seeing what he actually means, when he says something, but lately – I just don't know what he's getting at."
"I know, it's odd - before I could read almost every expression in his face, but now – nothing. I don't even know if I actually like him as a person, I see that he does loads of good, and I think he's amazing. One of the most brilliant people I know, but another part of me – thinks he's a bit of a -," she said wringing a piece of tissue between her hands, her knuckles turning white.
"Bastard," said Mary nodding fervently, "You're not entirely wrong in thinking that, as John repeatedly think that too – and he's living with him - poor man."
"I just don't know how I ever managed to fancy him, or well – even like him."
"So, you don't feel anything about him?"
"I don't know – well – ok – no, I don't," she said with a distant expression, one of a tired woman who'd been through a great deal – and she had been through a lot, things that she obviously didn't feel like putting into words just yet -"Still, I can't imagine my life without him mucking about in the lab, or just bothering me."
Mary smiled; neither could she, as she saw Michael as a rather large barrier to that, "You're sort of friends, though?" she said supposing they'd maintain some sort of relationship.
"Friends who just happen to be married," Molly said with a laugh.
A fact not easily forgotten, but she couldn't help but wonder, "Yes, about that – have you signed the papers, yet?"
"Yes, they're signed - just have to send them off," said Molly happily.
There was a reason Mary asked; that reason was the papers themselves, tucked underneath loads of other files, constantly being pushed around in Molly's flat, or at her work. It was like Molly kept forgetting they actually existed, or perhaps that was just her reading too much into things. She didn't feel like pointing it out though.
"You haven't sent them off?" she said blinking.
"I'm not keen on meeting Karen - after that last meeting, so I'm putting it off for a while. Luckily there's some time left," Molly said, before promptly letting her head drop onto the table with a thud.
"Not so much time, when you think about it, then?" said Mary with a snort.
"No," Molly moaned into the table soon lifting her head up again, "And how far have we gotten exactly?"
Mary sniffed, "Not very far – we've barely decided where to have it – except that place that Sherlock mentioned."
"You mean the ridiculously over-priced palace that's not even near the budget?" said Molly with a grim expression.
"I always thought you'd go for small to be honest."
"I only get married once – mum keeps on telling me," said Molly with a shrug, and Mary wondered if it was her fiancés influence that made that change occur, or her mothers.
It was hard to tell really.
"She doesn't know you're already married though – technically that is – so you're divorced, before you're actually married."
"Thank you for reminding me," said Molly with a defeated expression, though her eyes promptly widened, as she soon sat up straight in her seat – her features pale.
"What?" said Mary hoping she hadn't hurt her friend in any way.
"Mary," said Molly rather sincerely, her eyes fixed on her face, "I forgot – there's something – I barely got to tell Michael last night, evn. Works been rather, and-," her eyes kept darting behind her head.
When Mary finally turned to have a look - a man was standing in front of her blocking the view to the window.
The man happened to be Sherlock.
She looked at Molly who bore a nervous expression, before turning again to look at the man who was supposedly a complete idiot over Molly (John's exact words). Even the word hopeless, but she only saw him stand there as coolly as ever. He wasn't exactly spectacularly good at displaying his affection or torment. Not that she supposed that was his intention at being there, then she understood why he was there – right.
"No," she said loudly.
"Don't get too excited," said Sherlock, the corners of his mouth turning up, as he swiftly found himself an available chair and sat down.
There was something off with sitting between the pair, her eyes switching between Molly and Sherlock, as she didn't know whom to look at. Both weren't exactly looking at each other.
"Are we actually doing something important today?" said Sherlock ending the silence, his expression almost disdainful, as his eyes swept over the half-empty cups of coffee and crumbs on the table.
It didn't exactly show their productivity.
If she'd been told earlier she'd devised a binder.
Mary scowled in return, "Why are you here?" she said looking to Molly, hoping it wasn't another ridiculous situation were Molly would have to lie.
"He's – he's helping," said Molly as if that was an obvious fact, whilst it would have been absolutely ridiculous that Sherlock would willingly want to sit in a coffee shop.
"Really? He's just – helping," Mary said annoyed over the fact that John hadn't told her, and disturbed that helping was something Sherlock intended to do.
She had thought he'd rather set fire to the invitations, than see it happen - especially when he was supposed to fancy Molly.
"Yes – helping," said Molly awkwardly smiling at the pair of them, while Sherlock only looked slightly bored by the discussion.
Mary wouldn't exactly call the man in love, as his eyes were blatantly trying not to look into Molly's direction.
"You do look like you need all the help you can get," he said glancing at her, until his eyes were rather glued on Molly, shifting however quite quickly to the table instead.
She didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this point – both seemed appropriate really, "Right – you're going with us to the shops to look at wedding dresses and bridal gowns?" said Mary who knew this was what Molly wanted to do, and she could see by the look of utter surprise on Sherlock's face that it wasn't exactly his cup of tea.
"Is it necessary?" he said brows knitted, and face contorted into a rather childish grimace.
"I should have thought of that, really – it's only if you want, but you can come another time if you like - when we're discussing something else," said Molly sounding like she was apologizing to the man.
His sighed, "It's fine," he said stoically, though his rather stony expression softened when he caught Molly's small smile.
Mary tried not to look too pleased, though she found herself suddenly very conflicted – Molly was getting married – to another man.
Sherlock was after all rather late to the party, since Mary wasn't entirely certain if Molly's opinion of him could be improved this late after all. Maybe Michael was the right choice? Maybe she was the only one thinking it was too soon for them to marry? She wasn't certain, though she rather hoped if Sherlock was going to be anything - he'd better be bloody spectacular, which would possibly take a while.